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Political Science
Dakota Hall
414 E. Clark St.
Vermillion, SD 57069
Office Hours

Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.


College Dean

Welcome to the Department of Political Science

Encompassing politics, the criminal justice system, law, government, international relations and more, the field of political science brings together thinkers and leaders interested in improving lives and encouraging engaged citizenship.

At USD, our faculty are qualified and effective leaders who bring a wealth of experiences and insights to the classroom. This expertise and our small class sizes enable a rich learning environment for our students, who think creatively and work collaboratively as they strive to inform, educate and serve others. We are focused on connecting our students with real-world experiences like internships and study abroad opportunities that allow them to learn both inside and beyond the classroom. With these skills and experiences guiding them, our students go on to lead successful careers as legislative assistants, policy analysts, journalists, professors and social workers, among a wide range of other professions.

Join our community of learners, explorers and leaders.

If you are looking for a rewarding education built on personal and professional development, real-world experiences and personalized mentorship that prepare you to be an effective leader and thinker in our ever-changing world, the USD Department of Political Sciences is the place for you.


Faculty & Staff

Get to know faculty and staff in the Department of Political Science. Our faculty are experts in their fields, contributing research and scholarship in American government, criminology, victimology, international human rights, gender politics, race/ethnicity in politics, comparative political economy, international law and more. They bring practical experience in government, law and the private sector to the classroom.
Bio Image for Faculty Member David Earnest

David Earnest

Chair, Political Science/Director of the Farber Center/Professor


International Political Economy
Bio Image for Faculty Member Jenna Borseth

Jenna Borseth

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Michael Card

Michael Card

Associate Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member April Carrillo

April Carrillo

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Ilmira Dulyanova

Ilmira Dulyanova

Director of Online Graduate Programs & Coordination
Bio Image for Faculty Member Ed Gerrish

Ed Gerrish

Coordinator-MPA, Associate Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Julia Hellwege

Julia Hellwege

Associate Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Joshua Houy

Joshua Houy

Senior Lecturer
Bio Image for Faculty Member Eric Jepsen

Eric Jepsen

Coordinator-Undergraduate Studies, Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Sandy Mckeown

Sandy Mckeown

Coord-Criminal Justice
Bio Image for Faculty Member Thomas Mrozla

Thomas Mrozla

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Shane Nordyke

Shane Nordyke

Coordinator, Chieseman Center/Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Timothy Schorn

Timothy Schorn

Coordinator-International Studies, Associate Professor

Known for Excellence

At USD, you'll find a high quality educational experience strengthened by our faculty's research and creative scholarship. See what makes our department exceptional.

Student Opportunities

As a student at USD, the opportunities available to you extend beyond the classroom. Explore your interests, find your community and experience your education to the fullest extent through the following opportunities.

Departments & Facilities

Explore the departments, facilities and centers that contribute to your education in the Department of Political Science
Flags blowing in the wind with trees in the background. Flags are USD, United States, and a sideways Coyotes flag.

Chiesman Center for Democracy

The Chiesman Center for Democracy promotes and supports democratic principles and active civic engagement.

Students smiling at a public event.

Farber Center

At the W.O. Farber Center for Civic Leadership, we prepare students for a lifetime of leadership as citizens of the community, state, nation and world.

Student working together at a large table

Government Research Bureau

The Government Research Bureau, established in 1939, has a distinguished history of conducting applied research on public policy and administrative issues affecting the State of South Dakota, local governments and American Indian Reservations and nonprofits. Technical expertise and modern and innovative analysis tools are used to assist state and local government officials in the areas of economic development and policy formation.

Student Talking During Mock Trial

Experiential Learning

One of the hallmarks of the Department of Political Science is experiential learning. We want you to make connections, explore careers and gain real-world experience, and we are dedicated to helping you access those opportunities. From internships on Capitol Hill to study abroad experiences around the world, the possibilities for personal growth, skill development and exploration are endless.


professor with student

A Community Committed to Personal and Professional Growth

In the USD Department of Political Science, you won't be just a face in the crowd. We have incredible resources yet a small department size, which allows our faculty to get to know your interests, goals, challenges and needs as they help you find opportunities that will foster your professional and personal development and academic success. Here you will find mentors and friends who will enrich your education and prepare you for the future.


Alum Success Story

Success story Belma Husakovic smiling.
What I liked most about the program is that there is a wide array of classes you can take, all of which are led by amazing professors who are dedicated in seeing their students succeed. There’s also always the opportunity to learn about (and apply for) different internships that both align with your studies as a Political Science student and also help you determine which career path you’d want to take following graduation.

Belma Husakovic

B.A. Political Science '20
Talent Acquisition, Sanford Health
Sioux Falls, SD

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